Tips for Managing Pests Using IPM

The following IPM techniques can be used to prevent and manage pests in and around your home: 

  • Prevention techniques aim to avoid a pest problem before it occurs by using methods such as eliminating the things pests need to thrive (i.e., food, water, shelter).
  • Cultural controls are methods to discourage pests from inhabiting a home or garden and becoming a problem in the first place. These could include using pest resistant plants and proper maintenance of existing landscaping as explained in this Guide to Healthy Lawns Using Little or No Pesticides.
  • Physical controls include methods such as:
    • Mulching for weed management
    • Placing a ring of sticky barrier (such as Tanglefoot®) around the trunk of citrus trees to control ants and other types of scale insects
    • Plugging entry points into crawl spaces and attics with wire mesh or steel wool to exclude rodents
    • Caulking around the house to prevent smaller pests and insects from entering
    • Using mechanical traps for capturing pests such as mice
    • Soil solarization or heat treatments to control diseases that reside in the soil. 
  • Biological controls help manage pests by encouraging the establishment of beneficial organisms (or natural enemies to pests) that naturally control pest populations. Read here to learn how to encourage natural enemies in your home garden.
  • Pesticides can be used as part of an IPM program, however, they should only be applied when other methods are ineffective at controlling the problem. Click here to learn how to safely use pesticides in your home garden.